My Toenails This Week: Pacific Blue

Sunday, July 31, 2011
The fun continues with my toenail polish experimentation. In honor of the blue skies and blue ocean, I went with blue this week.

Nail polish: Sally Hansen XtremeWear in Pacific Blue.
Sandals: BP available at Nordstrom


Play dates do not equal babysitting services

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
A few weeks ago on a late Tuesday afternoon, Emma received a phone call from one of her closest friends. She was calling to invite Emma to play at her house for a few hours that evening.We had just walked in the door from the beach, and it was chaotic. I told Emma to tell her friend that that time wasn't going to work, but suggested that Emma invite her to play at our house on Thursday. Two seconds later Emma hands me the phone and says that the friend's mom wants to talk to me.

Here we go.

"Hello. Oh. Ok. Well, I suppose that would work. Ok. Well....uh...Ok. Sure. That's fine. See you then. Bye."

As it turned out, Thursday didn't work for them. Actually, it did work for them, but the mother had a class reunion of sorts on Saturday and was hoping that we could arrange the play date around her plans.

Hello? I'm not your babysitter. Not your free one anyway. But what was I to say? The girls hadn't seen each other since school ended and were anxious to play together. It wasn't the child's fault, after all. Her mom just has a hell of a lot of nerve or is completely clueless.

On Friday, she calls to confirm change the play date and dropoff/pickup times. She needs to dropoff earlier (12:20) so that she can make her appointment for a blowout. WHAT? Are you kidding me? Take the kid with you, for crying out loud. And she needs to pick her daughter up a little later as it is her brother's birthday, and he's planning to make a stop at the venue where the reunion is being held but can't get there until 5.

OK, I was getting close to my breaking point. I don't mind hosting play dates. In fact, they usually benefit me because they keep the kids out of my hair. And if any of my friends ever needed me to babysit, I would do so in a heart beat. But this wasn't a friend. She was an acquaintance of mine whose child is a friend of my child's. Totally different. Just feeling the need to point that out. I know many friends read this blog, so it's important that they know they can ask me ANYTIME to watch their children. And I'd gladly do it.

So, as it turns out, the friend's mom needed to drop off at 12:20 and pick up at 6:30. Huh? Are you kidding me? What was initially a 2 or 3 hour playdate had turned into a 6 hour stint.

But wait. There's more.

About 2 weeks prior to the playdate phone call, the mom left a message on my cell phone informing me that her older daughter (who's 13) is available to babysit my girls anytime. She continued to say that she's reliable and readily available, responsible, and conscientious. So, I had to wonder...where exactly was this older daughter on this particular Saturday. If she's readily available, why was she not around? And 13? Isn't that a bit young to be babysitting?

In the end, the friend came over at 12:20 and went home at 6:20. I took the girls to my sister-in-law's house to swim, and the they had a lovely time. But I was still bothered by the situation and the sheer audacity of the mother long after the girl had left our home. At the pickup, the mother kept saying "I owe you one. I really owe you. I wouldn't have been able to go if it weren't for you".

But seriously. It's not like I am going to call her and say, "Hey, remember that favor that you owe me? When can I drop off my kids?" Who does that? Certainly not I. I'm not that bold, and I cannot believe that there are people out there who are.

As is the case with many posts, as I was typing this and replaying it, I wondered if I were somehow wrong. Was it wrong of me to be annoyed by the mother's actions? What would you have done? Has something similar to this ever happened to you?


Making You and Your Health a Priority

Monday, July 25, 2011
As busy mothers, we often place the needs of our family before our own. It's not uncommon to schedule well visits and regular dental visits for our little ones but lose sight of making those appointments for ourselves. We become mothers, and our priorities are put on the back burner.

I learned a tough life lesson a few years ago when my lack of attention to my health landed me in the hospital.

This topic is the focus of my latest contribution on Meridian Momtourage. Click HERE to read how I had the scare of a lifetime and how it forced me to make myself a priority.


Walking Workout: For the Booty

At the beginning of June, I made a promise to myself that the yo-yo exercising would STOP. The one month on, 3 months off would end NOW. For me, the obstacle isn't motivation. It's boredom. Sheer boredom. I need constant change ups in my workouts. If I don't mix it up, I become bored. And we know what happens when boredom sets in. Yep. We just stop exercising.

In the past, I've set out by walking and working up to running. When I was exercising regularly in February and March, I had worked up to running 3 miles. It was the first time in my life that I was able to run 3 miles. But, I'm not going to lie. I don't like running. In fact, I more or less hate it. And so, because I despised it, I stopped running, and the workouts came to a crashing halt.

Bikini season rolled around, and I needed a serious plan. At the beginning of June, I decided that running was not going to be the main goal of my exercise routine. My main mission was to exercise consistently and enjoy it. I wanted to find that one thing that would make me keep coming back for more. Oh, and it needed to be something I could do on a treadmill since we had one at home. Since I've always loved walking, I decided to focus on that.

I started out easy and worked up to challenging myself with varying paces and inclines. But soon I was running out of ideas. So, I turned to the computer. I Googled "walking workouts" and found some great workouts for all levels of walkers.

I wanted to share one of my favorites workouts with you. If you need a little inspiration or a boredom buster in your own workout routine, try this one. You control your pace, but the incline and times are dictated in the workout. If you enjoy walking or you need a break from running, you need to try this workout.

*Courtesy of Health Magazine

If you decide to try it, let me know how you like it.


My Toenails this Week: Limestone

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Here's this week's color, and I love it! I'm thinking I won't want to change it next week.

Polish is Sally Hansen Limestone. I wanted to change up my flip flops this week, but the color matched the flip flops so well that I couldn't resist. Flip flops: Tory Burch, Indian Ocean print.


Wine Accessory of the Week: Wine Tags

Monday, July 18, 2011
How many times have you been at a party, either your own or someone else's, when you've put down your wine glass for just a moment, and you've returned to find two identical wine glasses with the same amount of wine in them? Or how many times have you been to a party when you haven't, for the life of you, been able to recall an acquaintance's name?

Yeah. Awkward.

I've found a solution for all those awkward wine and social situations. These name/wine glass tags will save you the embarrassment of forgetting someone's name and from picking up the wrong wine glass.
The cutest, right?

These ever-so-clever "nice-to-meet-you" tags are erasable and are $12 for a set of 6.

They are available for puchase at


Gymboree Summer Sale Fashion Haul

Saturday, July 16, 2011
The summer sale season is in full swing, and I have to say, I am in retail Heaven. The sales this time of year? Unbelievable.

Today, we set our sights on Gymboree. Not only was it Gymbucks redemption, but Gymboree was offering up to 70% off retail prices. I had $100 in Gymbucks, which meant that I had to buy $200 worth of merchandise to get $100 off. Wow!

You'll never believe all the great clothes the girls found.


Rockin' The Baby

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Every so often, usually when I'm decluttering, I stumble across some baby pictures. I immediately get sucked in and look at each and every one. It's not long before an hour passes, and I'm still sitting on the floor with a pile of used tissues at my side. I revel in those pictures of my girls when they were babies. The little fingers and toes. The sweet little, gummy smiles. How can you not fall head over heels in love all over again?

This month, Shell over at Things I Can't Say has given us a reason to break out the baby pics and spend hours poring over them. Shell is hosting the Rockin' the Baby linkup, where we share some of our favorite pics of our little ones when they were wee, teeny, tiny ones. Participants are eligible to win some fabulous prizes too. Check out the details as well as the list of prizes by clicking the Rockin' the Baby link above.

Baby Emma

Baby Harper

Well, if that's not enough to give me baby fever, I don't know what is. Why do they have to grow so fast? :(


Today's Tasty Treat: White Sangria

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
When I think of Sangria, I always think of red wine. For good reason, in Spanish the word "sangria" means a red wine sweetened with orange juice, lemon and soda water.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when I was introduced to white sangria. My girlfriend Nancy first turned me on to it when she served it at a party she hosted. One sip, and I was hooked. Ever since I've been craving it. I finally asked her for the recipe a few weeks ago, and last weekend I whipped up a batch.

One word: YUM!


1 1/2 cups mixed colorful bite-size pieces of fruit. I used cherries, apples, and peaches. You can use just about any fruit including grapes, melons, and pears.

1/3 cup sugar (or simple syrup*)

1 750-ml bottle crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio

1/8 cup brandy

2 tablespoons Triple Sec, or other orange-flavored liqueur

3/4 cup sparkling water or club soda

Ice cubes

Mint sprigs, for garnish

1. Wash fruit and cut into bite-sized pieces.
2. Place fruit into a large pitcher and add sugar. Mix well and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes to draw out the juices.

3. Add wine, brandy, Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur) to the pitcher. Just prior to serving, add sparkling water (or club soda) into the pitcher. Add ice cubes to 6 glasses. Fill the glasses with the sangria, spooning some of the fruit into each glass. Garnish each drink with a sprig of mint.

*Note: Simple syrup can be substituted for the sugar. To make a simple syrup, heat 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool. Cooled syrup can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy it...compliments of my dear friend Nancy!

Please drink responsibly.

My Toenails This Week: Mellow Yellow

Monday, July 11, 2011
Because it's summer, and we should all throw caution to the wind once in a while, I've decided to share my toenail polish choices each week.

Just in case you haven't read this post, I LOVE changing my toenail polish VERY frequently in the summer. I love the whimsical colors that can be pulled off only in the summer. Bright, fun colors are rocking my world lately.

My color this week is Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow. Isn't it fun??
Flip flops by Tory Burch (Indian Ocean print)


My first feature on

Sunday, July 10, 2011
Yay! I've published my first feature article on Jersey Bites, and I'd love for you to check it out. Although it is specific to the Red Bank Farmers Market, it could easily apply to any farmers market in any town or city.

Please stop by and give it a read. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to check out your local farmers market or if you are a local, I hope it will inspire you to visit the Red Bank Farmers Market.


Like a Hamster on a Wheel

Thursday, July 7, 2011
Yea, you know what I'm talking about.

More and more, I end my day feeling like I've just stepped off the wheel and crawled into my bed.

Ever since school has ended, I swear I spend my days doing the same tasks over and over again. The laundry never ends. C'mon, there are 2 adults and 2 kids in this house and enough laundry for 10 people.

I have spent at least 15 minutes per day lecturing the girls on the importance of picking up after themselves so that I don't have to waste MY time doing it. And you know what happens in the minutes before I go upstairs for the night? Yep, you got it. I end up scouring the downstairs for the kids' clutter and removing it from the floors, sofa, chairs, tables, kitchen island.

I kicked off summer vacation by having a meeting where I laid the "ground rules" for summer break. In addition to the task of cleaning up after themselves, the girls were instructed to keep their rooms straightened up so that we didn't need to spend time each morning doing so. Surprise! We are into our 3rd week of summer vacay, and this ground rule has been broken more than once. :(

I'm guessing that most moms feel the way I do. We take 2 steps forward and one step back. But I'm also guessing that there are moms who take 3 steps forward and 3 more steps forward. How do I get to be one of those moms? At what point will I know that my kids are listening and following my directions? Hello?? Is there anyone in there???

Right now, I'm spending 30 minutes in the morning on the treadmill and the remainder of the day spinning on the hamster wheel, and I'm not seeing any results.

Can someone please come take this hamster wheel out of my house? Please? I'll pay you...

What I Love About Summer

Sunday, July 3, 2011
Oh, summer, how I love thee. Let me count the (many) ways...

The way I see it, there isn't much to dislike about summer. The humidity is about the only thing I can think of.

But what do I love about it? Oh, I have so many sunny-day favorites besides the obvious ones...

1. Juicy e-reads
I don't know what it is about summer that makes it more conducive to reading. I read more books in the summer than I do in the other 3 seasons combined. E-readers such as Nook, Kindle, and iBooks for the iPad have made it easier than ever to take your books everywhere you go. I have a Nook, and it makes reading on the go easy.

2. Farmers markets
There's no better place to find fresh, local produce and other goodies than at your local farmers market. I love to go with my daughters and pick up fruits and veggies. We bring them home and whip up a summer salad or fruit tart. Don't forget your canvas bags. You'll need them for all the goodness you'll want to bring home.

3. Fun and Funky Toenails
I love to experiment with my toenail polish in the summer. I try all the colors of the rainbow. Don't splurge on expensive polishes. You're likely to use the colors only once or twice during the summer. Pick up bottles of $2 polish at Wal-Mart, Target, or Walgreens. I love Sally Hansen Hi-Definition.
4. Flip-Flops
You can throw them on and not think twice. They come in a wide variety of styles and colors, making them absolutely perfect for any occasion. One of my current favorites are Havaianas.

5. Mojitos
Need I say more?

6. Dining al fresco
Whether it's at a restaurant or at my own home, is there anything that screams summer more than enjoying a meal on your patio or deck?

What do you adore about summer?